Family events preview/ 'Chocolate,' Mickey Mouse -- or a good book

  • Article by: MELISSA WALKER and BRIAN LEEHAN , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: September 15, 2010 - 5:45 AM

"Chocolate: The Exhibition" This show promises not only to make your mouth water, but to school you on the much-desired confection. It takes visitors on a journey from the rain forests of Central and South America, where Mayans once harvested cacao seeds for currency and beverages, to the present-day $16 billion-a-year industry in the United States. Artifacts include pre-Columbian ceramics and ritual objects, European silver and porcelain chocolate services, and antique and contemporary candy molds. Oct. 2-Jan. 2. $5-$10. 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 651-259-3000.  www.mnhs.org.

Rain Taxi Twin Cities Book Festival: An opportunity for people to turn off their many screens, pull out their earbuds and re-experience the book. The crisp feel and slightly musty smell of paper and ink, the colorful cover art, the lack of a battery compartment -- come on, you know you miss it. There will be a book arts exhibit plus a book fair showcasing publishers, literary organizations and booksellers. Also, talks and readings by authors, a used-book sale and a children's pavilion with readings, performances, games, crafts and more. Oct. 16 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Minneapolis Community & Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. www.raintaxi.com/bookfest

"Mickey's Magic Show": The world's most famous mouse shows that he still has a few tricks up his sleeve in this arena show. Just when Cinderella thinks her dreams of going to the ball are gone, the words "bibbity bobbity boo" make a gown and glass slippers appear. More than 35 illusions are used to make brooms dance and your favorite Disney characters levitate in an adventure for all ages. Oct. 24 at 3 & 6 p.m. $18-$56. Xcel Energy Center, W. 7th St. and Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 1-800-982-2787.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: One of the more important festivals of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures. Take part in a lantern-making contest, then carry your lantern on a parade with others through Rice Park. There will be lantern dances, traditional holiday displays and storytelling. Play twilight games and have a taste of moon cake. Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. Free. Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. 651-292-3233. www.landmarkcenter.org.

Midwest Comic Book Association's FallCon Comic Book Party: A celebration of the marriage of the written word and graphic arts, FallCon offers fans the chance to meet popular writers and artists. Autograph signings, portfolio reviews, a huge marketplace of comic books, graphic novels, original art, action figures and more. Also, squadrons of costumed characters, surprise guests and hundreds of door prizes. Oct. 16 at 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $7, ages 9 and under free. $1 discount for canned food-shelf donation. Progress Center, State Fairgrounds, 1621 Randall Av., Falcon Heights. www.midwestcomicbook.com.

Zuhrah Shrine Circus: The classic circus with animal acts, including elephants and tigers, acrobats, high-wire and aerial tricks, the Human Cannonball, the antics of the Shriner clowns and much more. 7 p.m. Sept. 30; 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1; 10:30 a.m., 3 & 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2; 1:30 & 6 p.m. Oct. 3. $12-$27. Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls. 1-800-745-3000. www.minneapoliscircus.com.

Día de los Muertos - The Day of the Dead: A cultural tradition of the indigenous people of Mexico, the celebration honors those who have died. Enjoy the Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue's Aztec Dancers, learn of the holiday's traditions through puppeteers and decorate your own nicho, a shadow box to honor the memory of a loved one. There will be live music, chocolate treats and prizes, a clay skull-making workshop ($1 fee for supplies), and a demonstration of how to make molé. Oct. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. $5-$10, free for ages 5 and under and Minnesota Historical Society members. Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 651-259-3000. www.mnhs.org.

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